The printed head, which is 40 cm tall and 30 cm wide, perfectly matches the remaining part of the Buddha statue carved on the northern wall of Fengxian Temple in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), said Yang Chaojie, a researcher with the research institute of the grottoes.
A Buddhas head has been three-dimensionally printed to restore a stone statue at the Longmen Grottoes, a world cultural heritage site, in central Chinas Henan Province.
The locations of the other four items, all Buddha figures, have also been confirmed.
Wen Yucheng, former head of the institute, said the Buddhas head was missing after 1923 and was later purchased by the Shanghai Museum in 1957.
Shi Jiazhen, head of the institute, said the restoration using 3D technology has provided a new choice for the missing relics to return home.
In the early 20th Century, the grottoes were largely damaged and looted, with many Buhhda statues carried overseas.
Restoration research in cooperation with the museum started in May 2022. Among the museums five relics items confirmed to have come from the Longmen Grottoes, the Buhhdas head was the first one that was identified with its original location in the grottoes.
Located in the city of Luoyang, the Longmen Grottoes include more than 2,300 grottoes with 110,000 Buddhist figures and images, over 80 dagobas and 2,800 inscribed tablets created between the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557) and Song Dynasty (960-1279).